Selling a home you only have one chance to make a great first impression. Home Staging is all about bringing out the best in your home and getting it in showcase condition by enhancing the home’s visual appeal and showing off its finest features. Home Staging also neutralizes the home so potential buyers can visualize themselves living and owning that home.
You CAN stage your home yourself, but might be wondering, how to stage my home, where do I begin? During the staging process you’ll be getting rid of clutter and making your home appear more spacious and orderly. Also, artfully rearranging existing furnishings, artwork and accessories within the home, as well as taking care of any repairs that need to happen. The goal is to have buyers see the fine features of the house and not your stuff.
Remember, the way you live in your house and the way you sell your house are two different things. Staged homes on the average sell for the most amount of money in the least amount of time. You want your home to look better than the competition.
Start Packing Now
You’re going to move and have to pack anyway so start packing before your home gets put on the market. Get some boxes, packing tape and a permanent marker. AMAZON will deliver them right to your door so you don’t have to carry and place them in your car. It’s that simple. Now think about what can you live without while your house is on the market? Pack up what you don’t need in the space to make it look more neutral and spacious. That means closets too. It’s okay for closets to look quite empty as long as they are clean. If you don’t use an item often pack it up.
You will want to deep clean everything and give the home a fresh clean smell and look. Make repairs as needed and move furniture around so it doesn’t look crowded. Less is more when it comes to staging.
Look at the house through the buyers eyes. Potential buyers form an opinion of your home before they even walk thru the front door; staging actually begins at the curb. Curb appeal is the appetizer to the main course, your house. Your ultimate goal should be your house shows beautifully, smells good and has a WOW factor so you can get top dollar and sell in a reasonable amount of time.
20 Basic Staging Tips to Know
- Review the home room by room and make a check list of what needs to be done per room.
- Take down personal pictures and objects from the walls and pack all valuables.
- No clutter anywhere. Pack up small things. Clear all unnecessary things from the floor and keep counters free of junk.
- Keep decorative items to a minimum. Less is more.
- Reduce the number of books on a bookshelf and place them artfully.
- Remove any unhealthy plants.
- Repair and repaint cracks or nail holes on the walls or ceilings.
- Repair or replace broken light switches plates and clean around them.
- Check all light fixtures, replace burnt out light bulbs, and increase the wattage in darker areas.
- Spray silicone spray in any squeaky door or cabinet hinges.
- Make necessary repairs.
- No plastic runners on carpet and hardwood floors.
- Store extra possessions in the garage or rent a storage unit. When storing packed boxes or items in the garage don’t stack higher than 5 ft. so the buyer can see the garage space.
- Rearrange and remove furniture if necessary to make rooms look larger.
- Clean, clean and clean. It makes everything smell and look fresh but helps remove unwanted odors.
- Use a non-fragrant neutralizer spray if you need extra help with odors after you have cleaned.
- Clean carpets that need it and replace old worn carpet with a neutral color.
- Clean windows and make sure they work well, clean blinds, curtains or drapes.
- The fireplace and glass doors should be free of dirt or grime.
- Open up windows regularly to air out your home.
Living Room, Family Room, Den, Rec. Room Tips
- Clear off all coffee tables and end tables, leave a few books and a nice decoration or lamps.
- No ashtrays.
- Remove clutter, yucky looking pillows or blankets.
Dining Room Tips
- Clear off dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.
- Remove the table cloth if the table is really nice.
- Remove extra leaves from table and extra chairs from around the table or in the room, put in storage.
- Reduce the items in a buffet or remove buffet if the room is crowded.
- Clear off counters leaving only a few items.
- Keep refrigerator clear of magnets, messages or kids artwork.
- Organize, neaten, and clean the inside of the cabinets, make them look spacious.
- Repair damage to the counter top, edges or cabinets.
- Clean tile grout and freshly caulk where needed.
- Clean stove top and oven, replace old burners, exhaust fan, filters and hood.
- Your kitchen floor should look spotless.
- Keep sink empty and clean. Car wax polishes a sink up real nice.
- Make sure the faucet is clean and working properly without dripping.
- Keep the window ledge clean and free of everything.
- Put all soaps, towels, scouring pads and cleaning supplies out of sight under the sink.
- Remove rugs or have one large rug.
- Keep garbage emptied daily.
- Edit and organize your pantry, everything off the pantry floor.
- Clear off counters except for a few decorative toiletries, tissue dispenser, soap or lotion dispenser.
- Put everything else in a drawer or cabinet.
- Remove hand soap and replace with a liquid dispenser.
- Coordinate all towels and hang them neatly every day.
- Clear out shower and bathtub except for one bottle of soap and one shampoo.
- Clean or replace shower curtain.
- Repair and caulk the bathtub and shower.
- Remove cloth toilet lid covers, keep toilet lids down.
- Remove small scatter rugs or use one big rug.
- Hide all cleaning supplies and trash under the sink.
- Get rid of scum, mold and stains. Mr. Clean pads are great.
- Make bedrooms look like bedrooms.
- Make the bed every day.
- Clear off bedside tables and dressers except necessary items and a couple decorations.
- Keep closet doors closed.
- Pack clothes you are not wearing so closet looks spacious.
- Open windows slightly to get fresh air.
- Keep the floor clean of laundry and clutter.
- No items hanging on the back of the door.
- A new bedspread or quilt works wonders for any bedroom.
- Thin out toy collections, put some in storage; keep remaining toys closed up neatly in a closet.
- Take down all posters, photos, pictures, drawings, and awards.
Laundry Room Tips
- Put away all soaps and cleaners in a cupboard or reduce and organize them on a shelf.
- Keep counters and sink clean and empty.
- Get rid of excess hangars and hanging laundry.
- No piles of dirty or clean clothes.
- Clean and repair any areas which might create odor.
- Condense storage piles to one corner of the basement.
- Repair cracks in the ceilings and walls.
- Wash floors and stairs.
- Make sure the water heater, furnace and sump pump are in good condition and dusted off.
- Clear drains.
Outside Tips and Curb Appeal
- Repaint or stain trim and the front door if it needs a fresh crisp look.
- Sweep or spray down all sidewalks, decks, patios and porches.
- Spray down house and do paint touch ups.
- Check around front door for cobwebs.
- Decks should be pressured washed, stained or repainted if needed.
- Remove all moss from decks, walks and patios.
- Move garbage cans, wood scraps, toys, junk or building materials into garage or storage unit.
- Clean up pet droppings daily.
- Prune plants, bushes and trees if needed, you want the buyer to see the house.
- Cut back to window height all shrubs that block light or block the view of the windows.
- Move all children’s toys to the backyard or put in storage.
- Clean and sweep paved driveways.
- Rake, weed or re-gravel driveways.
- Remove dead plants.
- Rake and weed flowerbeds or spread new mulch.
- Keep lawn cut, remove weeds, edge lawn next to sidewalks and driveway.
- Reduce clutter, clear patios or decks of small items.
- Place lawn furniture in a simple room setting.
- Clean all debris from roof and gutters.
- Repair broken fences and paint if needed.
- Get rid of grease on the driveway.
Garage and Carports
- Carports should be completely cleared out.
- Sweep, organize and keep the garage neat.
- Move boats, RV’s or other large toys to another location.
- Keep cars in the garage and not the driveway.
- Keep garage doors down.
- Get rid of grease on the garage floor.
- Keep all the curtains and blinds open to let in light.
- Turn on all lights and lamps.
- Keep garage door closed.
- Pets must be put in a kennel or not at home for a showing.
- A fresh clean house helps your home smell good.
- DO NOT OVER SCENT a home, it makes a potential buyer think you are hiding something.
To wrap it up…..
Staging is not hard. You already are planning to pack and move everything so you’re just getting a head start, getting rid of clutter, packing and cleaning. Stage before you hire your real estate agent. Then let your real estate agent tell you if they see anything else that needs to be adjusted. They will be a set of fresh eyes looking at your home.
After you stage your home you might not want to move because it looks so good! You asked, how to stage my home, and not only did you learn how to stage to sell but also how to live staged. Moving forward, you’ll never decorate the same after you stage your home, so this is a great tool for life.